Monday, March 19, 2012

Ford: How Special is the Special Court's Outreach Section?

Stuart Ford (The John Marshall Law School, Chicago) has posted How Special is the Special Court's Outreach Section? Here's the abstract:
This article attempts to evaluate the work of the Outreach Section of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. It begins with a brief history of the Outreach Section’s work. Then it discusses the methods and accomplishments of the Section, including its effect on outreach programs at other international criminal courts. Finally, I try to answer two questions: (1) how innovative was the Outreach Section?; and (2) has the Outreach Section been successful? In contrast to earlier commentators, I try to answer these questions using empirical data, including Sierra Leonean attitudes toward and knowledge about the court as measured in various surveys. I conclude that the Outreach Section has been modestly innovative, but that it has largely failed in its primary goal of educating Sierra Leoneans about the Special Court – while virtually all Sierra Leoneans are aware of the existence of the Special Court, very few have a good understanding of what it does.